Literally translated as ‘Grandma’s Cooking Pot’, El Calderito de La Abuela sits on the crest of the La Orotava valley in the small neighbourhood of Cuesta de la Villa in Santa Úrsula. From its cosy dining room, views spread right across the valley and along the north west coast as far as Buenavista lighthouse, and you can watch the sun sink behind La Palma and cast its pink dye over Puerto de la Cruz.
On Saturday night we went out to eat with our neighbours and instead of heading into Puerto as we usually do, we drove five minutes up the hill instead. There’s been a restaurant on the site of El Calderito since 1967 when Gregoria and her husband Manuel opened the restaurant Los Corales across the road from the shop in which Gregoria’s mum had been serving customers since 1926. The shop is now the lovely Bodeguita de Enfrente restaurant and Los Corales changed its name to El Calderito in 2005. Along with Dondé Mario a few hundred yards along the road, these are the three restaurants of the Torres family, four generations later.
We arrived at 8.30pm and spent a good ten minutes gawping over the view from outside, trying and failing to pinpoint where we live amongst the sea of banana plantations. Once inside the rustically chic restaurant, we found that we were only the second table to be occupied in the panoramic dining room.
At first glance the menu appeared to be typically Tinerfeño with all the usual suspects – gofio, conejo (rabbit), cherne (wreckfish) and garbanzas (chickpeas) making an appearance but closer inspection revealed an innovative twist to every dish. Having ordered, we sat back to continue our aerial observations of the valley, speculating as to which house Shakira and Gerard Piquet now own, and cooing over the sunset.
Our starters of fried goat’s cheese covered in mojos and Jack’s choice of gofio arrived along with a complimentary dish of addictive, crispy fried onion rings – cebollitas – a speciality of the restaurant. Fried cheese drizzled with mojos and palm honey is a staple starter and it tasted every bit as good as it always does. Jack’s gofio was sweet and nutty but a little too dry for my taste, as gofio always is.
For main course, three of us had chosen the Frito Variado del Mar (mixed fried seafood), one had opted for Chicherón de Pollo de Corral (breaded chicken goujons) and the fifth ordered a green salad with goats cheese. The Frito Variado was a selection of deep fried squid, mini croquettes of mackerel, prawns and small battered chunks of shark with a side dish of alioli (garlic mayonnaise). The seafood was moist inside and crispy outside with a spicy after-kick of cayenne and paprika from the batter.
I passed on the dessert but Jack opted for Frangollo, a very old and traditional Canarian dessert made with corn flour, milk, eggs, sugar, raisins, cinnamon, honey and almonds. A thick, sweet paste, it was delicious and very filling so I helped out with finishing it 🙂
By the time we left at around 10.30pm, there wasn’t a free table in the place. The five of us shared three starters and three desserts between us as well as our main courses, plus we had beer, wine and water, and the bill came to €93. All in all a very enjoyable dinner with a magnificent panorama.
El Calderito de La Abuela, Carretera Provincial del Norte 130, Cuesta de la Villa, Santa Ursula; (0034) 922 30 19 18; open Tues-Sun 1pm-11pm (Fri & Sat to midnight), closed Sunday night and Monday.
Category : food and drink
Subscribe : RSS 2.0